Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Buttery peppermint shortbread cookies are easy to make with only 6 ingredients. They are a festive addition to any holiday cookie platter and your family will love the peppermint candy bits in each bite!

Peppermint cookies on a black plate.

Other buttery treats we love include this classic shortbread and chocolate chip shortbread cookies!

Perfect for the holidays, these peppermint shortbread cookies are not only easy to make but perfect to pair with a cup of coffee or tea, or even dunk into a glass of milk.

They have a rich buttery taste and with the addition of peppermint chips this version of shortbread is full of Christmas spirit! A little crunch, a whole lot of flavor, and it’s pure melt in your mouth bliss.

Whether you serve them on a holiday dessert platter, make for a cookie exchange party, or gift a few to friends and family, everyone is sure to love these! 

Why You’ll Love this Peppermint Shortbread Recipe

  • Easy to make: With only 6 ingredients and no eggs or leavening agents these are so simple!
  • Buttery: With a crumbly texture that just disappears in your mouth, it’s so good.
  • Tender, not dry: Whipped shortbread is delightful plus with the peppermint flecks it’s so pretty, too!
  • Festive: Perfect for holiday cookie platters, gifting to friends or family, and enjoying all season long.

Ingredients and Notes for Peppermint Shortbread

A few classic whipped shortbread ingredients with some festive peppermint flair and these cookies are holiday ready! 

  • Butter: A good quality butter that has been softened.
  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioners sugar, the fine texture of this sugar gives these their melt-in-your-mouth quality. 
  • All-purpose flour: Any other flour won’t work such as whole wheat flour as it will lead to dense results. 
  • Extract: It’s optional but vanilla flavoring or peppermint both add delicious taste.
  • Cornstarch: Helps create a crumbly and tender dessert like feel to these cookies.
  • Peppermint candy bits: The best crushed peppermint baking chips are found in the baking aisle, you could also use crushed candy canes although they melt a bit more into your shortbread.
Cookies on a black plate with peppermint candy around it.

How to Make Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

A few simple steps, some time to chill, and your peppermint shortbread recipe is ready to bake!

Dry ingredients: Sift flour, then cornstarch in a large bowl to remove lumps. Add the salt and whisk together. Set aside.

Dry ingredients in a bowl.

Cream butter and sugar: In a mixing bowl fit with a paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar with extract flavoring.

Wet ingredients in a bowl.

Then add dry ingredients on low to combine. Add peppermint bits and then chill dough for an hour.

Crushed peppermint added to the wet mix in a bowl.

Roll into dough balls: Roll your dough into 1-inch balls, place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets then lightly flatten with a fork. Chill again for 15-20 minutes while the oven is preheating.

Cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake: Bake your shortbread at a low temp of 300 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 8-10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Baked cookies on a cookie sheet.

Variations

  • Mint with chocolate: Drizzle these peppermint cookies with melted chocolate or white chocolate. You might also love these double chocolate peppermint cookies!
  • Peppermint candy bits: You could also use Andes peppermint candy chips found in the baking aisle.
  • Almond extract: Instead of vanilla or peppermint extract will give these a different flavor!
  • Topping ideas: Top with coarse colored sugar or icing sugar and then decorate with Christmas sprinkles. 
  • Slice and bake: Instead of rolling into dough balls roll into a log shape, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Slice and bake! 

Tips to Make These Peppermint Cookies

  • More peppermint flavor: Grind peppermint candies in a food processor before adding them to the dough. 
  • Make ahead dough: Make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
  • Parchment lined baking pan: Makes for easier removal from the baking and cleaning up.
  • Salt: If you have used unsalted butter add a ¼ tsp of salt to your peppermint shortbread cookie dough. 

How to Store Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Baked cookies: Store baked cookies that have cooled completely in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. 

Unbaked cookies: You can also freeze unbaked cookie dough in the freezer for up to a month. After rolling your dough into balls, freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet before transferring to a freezer safe container or bag. Thaw slightly, flatten with a fork, and proceed with instructions.

Cookies on a black plate.

FAQs

What’s the difference between shortbread cookies and butter cookies?

While butter cookies are delicious, the difference between the two is that shortbread cookies are made with more butter and less sugar than your typical cookie. They are also more dense and not overly sweet.

Why don’t you add egg to shortbread?

Adding eggs changes the texture of shortbread. It makes cookies more tender and shortbread typically is crispy and slightly crumbly.

Is shortbread soft after baking?

Whipped shortbread should be tender with a melt-in-your-mouth texture from the butter but also be slightly crisp when you take a bite.

What should I serve these with?

This homemade shortbread goes with any beverage! Serve with eggnog, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or even your favorite glass of wine.

Cookies on a black plate.
Peppermint Cookies on a black plate.

Peppermint Shortbread Cookies

Erika Marucci
Buttery peppermint shortbread cookies are easy to make with only 6 ingredients. They are a festive addition to any holiday cookie platter and your family will love the peppermint candy bits in each bite!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 25 cookies
Calories 125 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint flavoring (optional)
  • cups all purpose flour (at least 11% protein)
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt*
  • ¼ cup peppermint candy bits

*If using unsalted butter then add ¼ teaspoon of salt.

    Instructions
     

    • In a large bowl sift the flour, then the cornstarch, add the salt and whisk together. Set aside.
    • In the mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar for 4 minutes, add the flavoring if using. Beat together.
    • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, beat on low until almost combined then add the peppermints bits, beat to combine. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
    • Remove from the fridge and roll into 1 inch balls, place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, lightly flatten with a fork. Chill 15-20 minutes while the oven is pre-heating.
    • Pre-heat oven to 300F (150C).
    • Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 8-10 then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

    Notes

    These Peppermint Shortbread cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. 
    You can also freeze unbaked cookie dough in the freezer for up to a month.
    After rolling your dough into balls, freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet before transferring to a freezer safe container or bag. Thaw slightly, flatten with a fork, and proceed with instructions.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 125kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 62mgPotassium: 11mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 227IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.4mg
    Keyword peppermint shortbread cookies, shortbread cookies, shortbread recipe, whipped shortbread
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